Solidarity with the Chilean People

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Thursday October 31 2019

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers continues to stand in solidarity with the Chilean people, who took to the streets this month to demand democracy, social justice and a more equitable future for Chile.

We congratulate the people on stopping the transit fare increase and gaining the attention of the state to their demands, and we join them in mourning the 20 civilians killed, and hundreds injured by the army since the protests began.

As the state of emergency and the curfew declared by Chile were to be lifted on Sunday, reports indicated that President Piñera intends to address some of the people’s demands. Piñera knows that the rest of the world is watching, and that civil society worldwide was shocked and disgusted to see the brutal attacks last week on protestors. But the people are demanding more, including his resignation.

Medical supplies and treatment for the hundreds injured must be made available immediately in public health facilities. Disparities like those between the healthcare available to all, and the healthcare available in private clinics in Chile, are part of the reasons Chileans had to say enough is enough.

It will take some time to understand the harm that has been done by state violence, and the human rights violations that were enabled by an authoritarian misuse of Chile’s state of emergency.

It is particularly troubling to see that Chile has cancelled COP25 (the 25th Conference of the Parties to review progress on the UN climate change convention), which was scheduled for this December in Santiago de Chile. Many worry that the state will blame the cancellations on the protests, while they actually stem from a failure of the government to respect the will of the people, choosing instead to repress a popular uprising with violence.

We support the people of Chile in their demands for more social equity and inclusion, and Piñera’s resignation. Our solidarity goes to the Chileans who are trying to regain some control over their nations future, and better living conditions for their most vulnerable people.